Are you using raising awareness about your restaurant’s offerings in the exact geographic areas you serve? If not, you should consider localizing your restaurant marketing efforts. Start by listing your restaurant online, engage with your customers through social media, tap into local events, and explore potential partnerships with local businesses and organizations. By following these four simple restaurant marketing tips, you can start attracting new customers and keep them coming back for more!
1. List your restaurant on search and discovery platforms Popular search and discovery platforms, such as Yelp and Google Plus, are used by food lovers every day to find their next lunch or dinner spot. List your restaurant online to make it easier for potential customers to find you. When people search for places to eat nearby, your restaurant should be coming up in their search results. It’s important to keep your listings updated with accurate information which will also encourage browsers to choose your business. Your audience should not have to go out of their way to find your business hours, menu or contact information. It should be simple and easy for people to find and contact you.
Along with making your restaurant more discoverable to potential customers, search and discovery platforms can also be beneficial since they feature online reviews. This gives you the freedom to manage your online reputation and positively represent your restaurant to potential customers. Be sure to engage with all of the feedback by responding to both the positive and the negative reviews. Gathering reviews and replying to them will help build credibility and give you a higher ranking in search results.
2. Engage with your customers through social media As noted in our Top 5 Reasons a Restaurant Should Hire an Ad Agency post, customers turn to social media to discover, follow and engage with their favorite local establishments. Staying active on various social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, allows your restaurant to get noticed by new potential customers and stay connected with existing ones. Social media can be used to share various food and beverage promotions or specials, announce new menu items, promote upcoming events, and more! To really connect with your customers, don’t just tell them what is going on at your restaurant, join in on the conversation as well! Ask your followers what they would like to see on your menu in the future, or what they thought about your most recent event. This will motivate your followers to engage back, and allow you to see your restaurant from a customer’s perspective.
3. Cross-promote with local businesses, schools or sports teams Partnering up with a local business, school or sports team to offer a joint promotion or discount is a great way to get your restaurant involved in the local community, and get noticed by new customers. Does your menu feature delicious salads or other healthy alternatives? Consider partnering up with a local gym to create a fun-fit challenge offering discounts on healthy menu items and a free fitness class for participating customers. You and your partner can further promote the challenge on social media to create a shared online following, and drive new customers into both of your businesses. Another way to boost your restaurant marketing is to partner with a local vendor who carries a product that your restaurant requires to have in stock. By doing so, you and the vendor you partner with can both promote each other’s brands.
4. Host a fundraiser or charity event A great way to attract locals into your restaurant is by offering to host a fundraising event. Oftentimes, people will decide to visit a new restaurant because they are interested in a specific event that is being hosted there. Utilizing your restaurant’s venue as a place to host fundraising events will give you the chance to welcome in new guests, and establish your restaurant as a place the community is proud to have in the area. Customers will also admire your business for giving back to the community and be more likely to recommend your business to others in the future.
Your restaurant should be easily discoverable, both online and within the community it serves. Start localizing your restaurant marketing today by exploring available online listings, posting a fun question to your followers, finding a local business or organization to team up with, and looking at upcoming events going on for some inspiration. By following these four tips, you can establish yourself as a great local spot for good eats and an asset to the community.